The sixth pilgrimage to the burial place of Blessed Marta Wiecka took place in Sniatyn, Ivano-Frankivsk region, on May 16-17. The faithful from all over Ukraine – and not Ukraine alone – request her assistance asking her to “support them in distress, in illnesses and misfortunes”, just like she used to do in her lifetime.
From the very evening on May 15 pilgrims started arriving in Sniatyn from across Ukraine. Participants’ registration began at 8 am on May 16 close to the Our Lady of Holy Rosary Church. After the registration, pilgrims could attend the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and make a confession.
At 12:00 hrs. the solemn Holy Mass began celebrated by Lviv Metropolitan, Archbishop Mechyslav Mokshytskyi. Ending the Liturgy, His Excellency thanked God for the gift of Marta Wiecka, the sample of charity bravery she showed us with all her life and her sacrificial death. The Archbishop also pointed out that “Blessed Marta’s life perfectly fits in Ukraine’s present that rebuilds its faith foundations, learns how to love truly and does not lose hope that the reconciliation will take place and the calmness will set in”.
At a common lunch pilgrims had a chance to know better each other as well as to meet event masters and organizers.
Within a group work pilgrims shared their ideas on the issues connected with Blessed Marta’s special gifts: her prophesy about the future, her “vision and reading” of human souls, and first and foremost her gift of active apostolate.
A festive concert took place at a green outside the church in the evening. Musicians performed Christian songs inspired by folk songs. Everyone danced: pilgrims, religious persons and even the Archbishop.
As a concert ended, everyone gathered in the church to listen to the testimonies of religious persons about their vocations and about their living in Christ.
From 20:30 to 22:00 a solemn procession to the tomb of Sister Marta Wiecka and a solemn transfer of her relics to the church took place. Thereafter, they were available for a private prayer and adoration in the left part of the church – below Sister Marta’s image.
The second day, May 17, began with a joint prayer. Then pilgrims had their breakfast. Thereafter, the veneration of Blessed Marta’s relics and the solemn Holy Liturgy followed.
The Holy Mass was again celebrated by Archbishop Mokshytskyi. Since the Church celebrates the Year of Consecrated Life now, he especially urged all present monks and nuns to look closely at the example of Sister Marta’s ministry and under her intercession to ask God for the gift of charity bravery for themselves as well as for its spreading around the whole world. He called for praying for peace in Ukraine, for religious persons, for new vocations and in all intentions of pilgrims. In his closing speech the Archbishop reminded about the All-Ukrainian Pilgrimage of Marta Wiecka’s Relics and expressed his hope for a meeting in Sniatyn next year.
A glorification prayer concluded the meeting. Musicians found the most sincere worshippers among kids from Zaluchchia who this year became pilgrims as well. They danced with pleasure granting their genuine smiles. Thus, the event’s chaser turned out to be extremely warm and completely in line with Sister Marta’s spirit and the whole Vincentian Family devoting their lives to caring for the sick and to sick children in particular.
(www.svincent.org – after the materials by Hanna Shchokan, Catholic Media Center )